Italian word of the day: ‘Piega’

Italian word of the day: 'Piega'
Photo: DepositPhotos
When life takes a turn, this word’s here for you.

Taken at face value, piega is a simple word that means a fold or a crease, like you find in fabric or paper. When used in its literal sense, you’ll most often see it in verb form.

– Fare attenzione a non piegare il cavo.
– Take care not to bend the cable.

– Vieni qua e piega questi vestisti.
– Come here and fold these clothes.

When used as a noun, however, piega often refers to unexpected events leading you down a different path than the one you thought you were on.

The new path might be worse.

– Le cose stanno prendendo una brutta piega.
– Things are taking a bad turn.

Or better.

– Sto aspettando che la mia vita prenda la giusta piega.
– I’m waiting for my life to kick into the right gear.

– La sua salute ha preso una piega migliore.
– Her health’s taken a turn for the better.

Or just different.

–  Questa settimana ha preso una piega diversa.
– This week’s taken a different turn.

La mia festa ha assunto una piega imprevista.
– My party’s gone in an unexpected direction.

There’s at least one other use, however, for this versatile word.

If a piega is a fault or an imperfection, an idea or a plan *without* a piega is airtight, or faultless.

The phrasing of this in Italian is non fa una piega – literally, something that “makes no fault” or, you might say, “doesn’t put a foot wrong”.

– Il loro ragionamento non faceva una piega.
– Their logic couldn’t be faulted.

– Il suo alibi non fa una piega.
– Her alibi’s airtight.

Do you have a favourite Italian word you'd like us to feature? If so, please email our editor Jessica Phelan with your suggestion.


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